How to use this exemplar to improve practice
This exemplar could be used to stimulate ideas and professional discussion around curriculum development aimed at improving focus on Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) and employability skills as well as closing the gap and improving partnerships and transitions.
- To what extent does our curriculum promote equity and raise attainment for all children and young people?
- How knowledgeable and up-to-date is our school team about career and employment prospects?
- How well are we working with learners, parents and carers, employers, colleges and other partners to develop an effective approach to careers education which supports learners into positive destinations?
- How well do we support learners with additional support needs and those leaving care to access sustained positive destinations?
- How well do we seek out and respond positively to potential partnerships which will lead to better outcomes for the children and young people we work with?
- How effectively are we ensuring that young people achieve sustained positive destinations when they leave school?
Explore this exemplar
What was done?
The school involved all of their staff in redesigning their senior phase and then their BGE in order to tailor the curriculum more to the needs of all of their young people and provide a more egalitarian and inclusive approach. The vision was established that for all young people stay on to S6 and leave with expertise, qualifications, a portfolio of skills and knowledge of the job market.
A DYW development officer was appointed, Links were made with Chamber of Commerce and a range of business partnerships and pre-apprenticeship courses were established. New vocational courses were established which build on staff skills and expertise
Why was it done?
The headteacher arrived at the school knowing the challenges young people faced in this context and with a vision for a curriculum which would meet the needs of every young person. The challenge was to provide a curriculum more tailored to individual needs and one which prepared all its young people to experience success in the world of work.
What was the impact?
The curriculum has become much more inclusive and focused on the needs of all young people, providing academic as well as vocational routes to employment. The range of positive impacts include:
- Learning and teaching, is being delivered in a range of different styles and in a range of venues, sometimes off campus, for example Gorgie Farm.
- Personalisation and choice is embedded throughout and pupils understand the relevance of their academic and vocational learning and its link to the world of work.
- Numbers staying on to S6 have increased from 50% to 90% in 3 years with the numbers of learners moving on to positive destinations increasing to 93%.
- There has been a marked raise in attainment with an increase in the percentage of pupils gaining qualifications at almost every level including higher as well as numbers of pupils going to university.
- The school provides wide opportunities for teachers to exercise leadership, and distributed leadership is embedded across the staff as a whole.
- In a recent HMI inspection the curriculum was graded Very Good.